2021 Davis Cup Finals day three wrap: All groups in action
ALL six groups were in action a the 2021 Davis Cup Finals day three, with a number of sides taking pole position to top their group, and others looking to remain alive ahead of the last round robin stage.
RUSSIA (3) defeated ECUADOR (0)
Russia has predictably rolled Ecuador in a sweep to hand the South American nation a winless Davis Cup Finals campaign. Setting up a classic contest with Spain to determine the group-topper in Group A, Russia was able to overcome some hiccups to put Ecuador away 3-0. Andrey Rublev had to fight harder than many expected against the lowly-ranked Roberto Quiroz. The Russian Top 10 talent served 11 aces to six, hit 22 winners to 14 and only had eight unforced errors for the match, but still needed three sets to win. 6-3 4-6 6-1.
World number two Daniil Medvedev did not need nearly as much tie, destroying Emilio Gomez 6-0 6-2 in 57 minutes. Medvedev broke five times, hit 13 winners to six and only made six unforced errors for the entire match. The win sealed victory for Russia, though then Rublev and Aslan Karatsev teamed up for a three-set win over Ecuadorian duo Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo, 6-4 4-6 6-4 to go to the top of the table in Group A.
GROUP A RESULTS:
Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Roberto Quiroz (ECU) 6-3 4-6 6-1
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Emilio Gomez (ECU) 6-0 6-2
A. Rublev/A. Karatsev (RUS) defeated G. Escobar/D. Hidalgo (ECU) 6-4 4-6 6-4
KAZAKHSTAN (2) defeated SWEDEN (1)
Kazakhstan put a dent in Sweden’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage, overcoming the European nation with a deciding doubles win. After Sweden defeated an understregnth Canada in the first group match, the Swedes just needed to win this contest to advance to the final eight. Whilst Elias Ymer started off on the right note with a win over Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 7-6, and brother Mikael Ymer won the first set in his contest, the Swedes would lose the next four sets to go down.
Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik came from behind to defeat Ymer 3-6 6-4 6-0 and level the scores, before doubles combination Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov won in straight sets. Bublik served 11 aces to four and won 81 and 50 per cent of his first and second serve points compared to Ymer’s 63 and 38 per cent. Meanwhile in the doubles, the Kazakhstan pair needed 67 minutes to get up and put their nation in the box seat to advance to the next stage.
GROUP B RESULTS:
Elias Ymer (SWE) defeated Mikhail Kuskushkin (KAZ) 6-3 7-6
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated Mikael Ymer (SWE) 3-6 6-4 6-0
A. Golubev/A. Nedovyesov (KAZ) defeated A. Goransson/R. Lindstedt (SWE) 6-3 6-3
GREAT BRITAIN (2) defeated FRANCE (1)
Despite France causing a surprise upset in the doubles, Great Britain was able to kick-off its Davis Cup Finals campaign with a 2-1 win over the world number ones thanks to the singles. In-form duo Daniel Evans and Cameron Norrie won in straight sets over French duo Adrian Mannarino and Arthur Rinderknech to hand Great Britain the win. Evans won against Mannarino 7-5 6-4 with 10 less unforced errors (22-12) and five more winners (14-9).
Meanwhile Norrie got up over Rinderknech with a 6-2 7-6 match which lasted two hours and five minutes. Rindeknech fought hard in the second set but eventually succumbed 10-8 in the tiebreaker. Rinderknech served 11 aces to five, but Norrie was able to hit less unforced errors (26-40). The Frenchman’s form in the singles saw him receive the call-up for the doubles with Nicholas Mahut over Pierre-Hugues Herbert and it still paid off. The French won 6-1 6-4 in one hour to grab an important point and remain in contention for qualification.
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-5 6-4
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) 6-2 7-6
N. Mahut/A. Rinderknech (FRA) defeated J. Salisbury/N. Skupski (GBR) 6-1 6-4
AUSTRALIA (2) defeated HUNGARY (1)
It was a bittersweet result for the green and gold, with Australia getting the 2-1 win over Hungary, but by not achieving the clean sweep, meant there was no chance of making it through to the final eight. A 3-0 loss to Croatia in the opening group match sealed that fate, but the Aussies managed to fight their way to a win, albeit in a far harder tie than it should have been. World number 272nd Zsombor Piros stunned John Millman in three sets 4-6 6-4 6-3, before Alex de Minaur grabbed the crucial win against tricky Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.
Fucsovics was far more powerful, hitting 35 winners to 17, but also hit more forced errors (60-41) and unforced errors (35-28) during the match, for de Minaur’s consistency to shine in the 7-5 2-6 7-6 win. The Australian won the match with a 7-2 deciding set tiebreak. Australia then won the doubles with specialist John Peers teaming up with Alex Bolt against rare doubles players Piros and Fabian Marozsan to win 6-3 6-7 6-3 with the the second set tiebreaker going to 13-11.
GROUP D RESULTS:
Zsombor Piros (HUN) defeated John Millman (AUS) 4-6 6-4 6-3
Alex de Minaur (AUS) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 7-5 2-6 7-6
A. Bolt/J. Peers (AUS) defeated F. Marozsan/Z. Piros (HUN) 6-3 6-7 6-3
ITALY (2) defeated COLOMBIA (1)
Italy has cemented its spot in the knockout stage of the Davis Cup Finals with an expected win over Colombia. The Italians were made to work for it early when lowly-ranked Colombian Nicolas Mejia took the first set off Lorenzo Sonego, before the Italian hit back to win in three sets. Sonego saluted 6-7 6-4 6-2 in two hours and 36 minutes to grab the early match win, hitting six less unforced errors (22-28) and breaking four times to one throughout the contest.
Young gun Jannik Sinner then joined the party with a straight sets win over Daniel Elahi Galan. Sitting even at 4-5 in the first set after a sterling effort from Galan, Sinner put the foot down to win the last nine games of the match and win 7-5 6-0 in an hour and 19 minutes. Sinner hit 18 winners to eight, and whilst his serve was all over the place (49 per cent efficiency), he still won 72 and 58 per cent of his first and second serve points. Then the red head jumped on court with Fabio Fognini and the Italian pair engaged in a long battle with former doubles world number ones, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. The first set went easily the way of the Colombians 6-2, before the Italians managed to secured a crucial break and level the match in the second. Fittingly the match went all the way into a third set tiebreaker, where the Colombians kept their title hopes alive with a clutch 8-6 in in the third set for an overall win of 6-2 5-7 7-6.
GROUP E RESULTS:
Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated Nicolas Mejia (COL) 6-7 6-4 6-2
Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 7-5 6-0
J. Cabal/R. Farah (COL) defeated F. Fognini/J. Sinner (ITA) 6-2 5-7
GERMANY (2) defeated SERBIA (1)
A clutch doubles win from Germany has put the nation in the box seat in Group F, overcoming world number one Novak Djokovic‘s best efforts to secure the 2-1 victory. German talent Dominik Koepfer won the opening match of the day, taking down Serbian Filip Krajinovic in straight sets 7-6 6-4 in just under two hours. Koepfer hit 34 winners to 21, and only conceded two more unforced errors (13-11) in waht was a crucial performance to get his nation off to a great start.
To no one’s surprise, Djokovic took care of Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2 6-4 in the absence of top-ranked German Alexander Zverev. The world number one served nine aces to two against the usually big-serving German, also hitting double the winners (15-7) and less unforced errors (8-10). The match of the tie by far was the doubles however, with Djokovic and Nikola Cacic teaming up against German doubles combination Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz. Lasting two hours and 16 minutes with plenty of chances, the Germans finally saluted 7-6 3-6 7-6 including two tiebreakers of 7-5. They slammed home 45 winners to 26 and had six unforced errors to seven in what was a tight contest.
GROUP F RESULTS:
Dominik Koepfer (GER) defeated Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 7-6 6-4
Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-2 6-4
K. Krawietz/T. Puetz (GER) defeated N. Cacic/N. Djokovic (SRB) 7-6 3-6 7-6